As some of you may know, I’m currently studying towards a degree in social sciences with the Open University in what I laughingly refer to as my spare time. At the moment, I’m doing a psychology module. I went to a tutorial last night, in which we discussed (among other things) the fascinating concept of memory: how we store and retrieve memories, and the various things that can go wrong with that process. This reminded me of a really bizarre … Continue reading
We’ll be exhibiting at the DIA EuroMeeting in Vienna on 25–27 March. If you’re going to be at the conference, I do hope you’ll stop by and say hello. We’ll be on stand Y511.
I’m currently in Dubai to deliver some training in clinical study design to a group of medical advisers from a pharmaceutical company. I’d heard that Dubai is a fascinating place and I’ve never been here before, so I arranged my schedule to give myself a little time to have a look around. Since I’m rather fond of plants (as you might have guessed from the name of the company), I spent my free afternoon visiting the Dubai Miracle Garden. This … Continue reading
I gave a talk yesterday at a CCRA event about big data, and promised the audience I’d post my slides on my blog. So for the benefit of anyone who was at the talk who wants a record of what I said, or even for anyone who wasn’t at the talk who is interested in a few of my random thoughts on big data, here are my slides.
I recently recorded a piece for the Pod Delusion on care.data. If you like listening to podcasts, then you can find it here. The Pod Delusion is well worth a listen: apart from my own occasional contributions, it also unfailingly has a great deal of other interesting material. But for the benefit of anyone who prefers the written to the spoken word, here is the text of what I said. You may have had a leaflet through your door recently … Continue reading
A lengthy article was published in the BMJ today about the decision the government made last year to abandon their previously-stated plans on minimum alcohol pricing. As you might expect from the BMJ, with their strident anti-industry agenda, the article claims this is all about a terrible conspiracy in which the evil drinks industry and the government collude together to put the interests of the evil drinks industry ahead of public health. The reality, I believe, is a little more … Continue reading
I woke up this morning to news on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme that a report by the Public Accounts Committee of the UK Parliament had found that only half of clinical trials are disclosed. That’s a statistic we’ve heard before. And as I’ve explained more than once before, it’s not true. Nonetheless, zombie statistics are very hard to kill. But the Today broadcast was worse than simply rehashing that old statistic on clinical trials disclosure, as it got various … Continue reading
The festive season is upon us, and no doubt many of us are looking forward to celebrating with a drink or two. I certainly am. I thought, then, that this might be a suitable time to write a few words about Alcopal. According to its manufacturers, “Alcopal tablets guarantee to improve impairments caused by consuming alcohol”. That sounds like a good thing if we’re all having a few drinks. Too good to be true, in fact. And almost always, when … Continue reading
I have recently read Peter Gøtzsche’s book, “Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How big pharma has corrupted healthcare”. It’s a rant about how the pharmaceutical industry are evil and a form of “organised crime”. No, I’m not exaggerating, he actually does say that. I have written a review of the book for EMWA‘s journal, Medical Writing, which I’ll share with you another day, but for now I wanted to write about one aspect of the book: the comparison between the … Continue reading
I recently had the privilege of being guest editor for an issue of Medical Writing, the journal of the European Medical Writers Association. It was a theme issue, with the theme being “good pharma”. There is a lot of talk about bad pharma these days, some of it justified, but much of it hyped up. After all, bashing the pharmaceutical industry is always a great way to sell books or newspapers. So we at EMWA thought it might be interesting … Continue reading